Hello. My name is Samantha. I’m so honored you took a moment out of your day to visit me.
Like most people, I face the ups and downs of life (sometimes with less grace and gratitude then I would have liked). I was diagnosed in my twenties with celiac disease. At the time, there was not much helpful information on the internet. Rarely did mainstream grocery stores carry anything gluten-free beyond rice.
In addition to the Celiac, the years have brought other physical challenges. Three concussions, a Chiari malformation, scoliosis, endometriosis, hypoglycemia, GERD, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a twisted colon, three cases of Lyme’s disease, followed by a cardiac catheterization for supraventricular tachycardia are quite a humbling education.
I’m your basic hot mess. And yes, I have tried countless medications and diets: AIP, paleo, SIBO, Wahl’s protocol, and plant-based. . .you name it, I’ve tried it.
Then, I met Rose and Paul. They are emotionally generous and amazing Iyengar yoga teachers and just generally badass. Their classes not only calmed my body, but my mind.
As I went deeper into my yoga practice, I became aware of other mindfulness practices, such as meditation. I began to feel more grounded and calm. I gained resources that were within me at a moment’s notice.
With these new resources, came a visceral shift. Like a thunderclap. I wanted my life to have more meaning. A sense of purpose beyond my own needs. I left my position as a director of operations and put myself through school to become a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) at the age of 37. Working in a skilled nursing facility, as well as, early intervention with a pediatric agency, I treated children and adults experiencing conditions such as, autism, sensory processing disorders, anxiety, strokes, joint replacements, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and cancer.
Guiding people through life-changing and sometimes life-ending events is both rewarding and humbling. They truly became my role models. With each new student or patient, I gained insight into living with emotional, intellectual or physical challenges.
While working with them, their treatments focus on their medical diagnosis. However, when I introduce mindfulness techniques into their sessions, such as deep breathing, visualization, and modified yoga, they become more likely to participate, calm and comfortable in their bodies – if only for the length of our session. It is a moment of respite in their otherwise painful day.
During my time at the skilled nursing facility, I sustained a shoulder injury causing permanent nerve damage while assisting a patient in time of crisis. Since I am no longer able to lift and transfer patients, I have started a new journey as a graduate student of clinical mental health counseling. In this new chapter of my life, I hope to further develop the mindful techniques I utilized in my practice of occupational therapy.
The information I provide in this site is not intended to be medical advice. I am a mere human with hopes that by sharing my experiences and insights you will begin to participate in your life and with others in a more present, calm, and aware manner.
By being more engaged and aware, you can discover what is right for your body and what it needs to thrive.
Be Well and Take Care.